Best Small Air Fryers

Best Small Air Fryers

I guess everyone is familiar with deep frying term. I mean, even I am and I’m the type of person who can overcook the water for a tea. However, in the recent years the term air frying had been pumped up quite high in the eyes of everyday users. That’s why I’ve decided to put together a comprehensive guide about the best small air fryers that are currently available on the market.

Why small, you might ask? Well this website mainly focuses on quiet and small (or compact) home appliances and you would be surprised how big and space-taking some of these appliances can be.

Deep Fryers vs. Air Fryers

But before we dive into the list of the best air fryers, let’s first check what their benefits are and if you should prefer them over deep fryers.

Deep Fryers vs. Air Fryers

Oil vs. Water and Hot Air

To explain the difference between the two in the simplest words, I’d say that a deep fryer uses oil to cook the meal, while an air fryer uses water and hot air. With that being said, however, you can cook any food in an air fryer that you would normally cook in a deep fryer, because you can simply spray oil on food that you’ve just prepared in your air fryer.

Also the term frying can be a bit misleading, since most cooks and chefs would probably argue that if food is not submerged in oil, it’s not frying. But let’s not dwell on such details right now.

So How Does an Air Fryer Work?

Most air fryers look like coffee machines or kettles. It is an electric device that uses a heating system along with a small fan that keeps blowing air into the cooking chamber, where the food lies in a perforated basket. Since the cooking chamber is quite small, the air circulates thoroughly around the food, thus creating an even crisp crust.

Small air fryers can actually cook certain foods faster, since the cooking chamber is smaller and hot air is more intensified in the area. On the other hand, you cannot put much food (like a whole chicken) into smaller air fryers.

Air Frying Takes Time

Since there is no oil used during frying, it will take more time to cook a meal using just water and hot air. The exact time depends on the specific food. There are plenty of recipes that can be found online that specify the estimated prepare time.

What About Baking?

As the names suggests, air fryers are mainly designed for frying. However, most of them can be used for roasting and even baking. That is something, however, that I’d recommend doing only if you don’t have access to a conventional oven. Normally you would use a much bigger metal plate for baking and since we are reviewing the smallest air fryers on the market, baking would be really counter-productive here.

5 Best Air Fryers on the Market

Alright, armed with the knowledge from above, now you should be certain whether or not you want to get an air fryer. I’ve scoured the market for several long hours to come up with these five best small air fryers.

Note: The list is sorted by our personal rating, not by the size.


1) Ninja Air Fryer 4-Quart Ceramic Coated Basket (AF101)

This particular air fryer is manufactured by Ninja and is one of the most desired kitchen appliances on the market.

Ninja Air Fryer 4-Quart Ceramic Coated Basket (AF101)

It features 1550W programmable base with 4-quart ceramic coated basket. Ninja air fryer offers temperature-changing system, from 105 to 400 degrees F (40.5 to 204° C). The ceramic base is smaller than is the case with most air fryers, but it still accommodates 2 pounds of French fries. The manufacturer recommends pre-heating the machine for 3 minutes before using it for food. Cleaning is dishwasher-safe thanks to the quality parts (basket, crisper plate and multi-layer rack).

The dimensions are 13.6 x 11 x 13.3 inches and the weight is 4.9 lbs, which makes it one of the smallest air fryers available.

Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Tasty food result
  • Small and lightweight
  • Easy to clean
  • Super easy user interface
Cons
  • No attachments for grilling and baking
  • Several users reported a rubber-burning smell, but this seems to be 1 in 100 cases

Our rating: 4.8 / 5


2) COSORI Air Fryer – Max XL 5.8 Quart

Besides ovens, kettles, microwaves and other kitchen appliances, COSORI also makes quality air fryers. Let’s look at the one with 5.8 quart capacity.

COSORI Air Fryer - Max XL 5.8 Quart

COSORI XL air fryer prides itself with 5.8 quart square non-stick basket, which can accommodate an entire chicken. It features LCD display with 11 functions for various foods. The removable parts are dishwasher-safe, PFOA-free and BPA-free. Thanks to the 1700W and temperature range from 170 to 400°F (76.6 to 204° C). Shake reminder and pre-heat functions are also included. COSORI brand also provides over 100 air fryer-friendly recipes.

XL’s dimensions are 11.8 x 12.6 x 11.7 inches and the empty weight is 14.5 pounds.

Pros and Cons

Pros
  • 5.8 Quart space is great, considering the size
  • New 2019 model with additional features
  • Easy to clean
  • Quite affordable
  • Free recipe book
Cons
  • Heavy, compared to other air fryers on our list

Our rating: 4.8 / 5


3) Gourmia GAF228 2.2 Qt Digital Air Fryer

Gourmia is no stranger to quality kitchen appliances and quite conveniently, they also make air fryers.

Gourmia GAF228 2.2 Qt Digital Air Fryer

GAF228 by Gourmia uses RadVection 360° technology, which is one of the dominant technologies in regard to cooking and frying. This unit operates on modern LCD display with digital controls to adjust temperature and time settings. 2.2 Quart capacity is not much, but it can still accommodate 1 pound of French fries along with a few chicken legs, or alternatively, 6-7 chicken legs without anything else. GAF228 is ETL-certified, so there is no need to worry about the materials being used in this device.

The dimensions are 10.2 x 8.3 x 11.1 inches and the empty weight is 6.85 lbs.

Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Takes very little space
  • Fits in most kitchen cupboards
  • LCD display control
  • Affordable
Cons
  • 2.2 quart capacity is not much

Our rating: 4.6 Star Rating 4.6 / 5


4) Secura Air Fryer 3.4Qt / 3.2L

Air fryer 3.4 Quart is a great combination of a simple design, quality features and compact dimensions.

Secura Air Fryer 3.4Qt - 3.2L

The 3.4-quart basket is large enough (7.5″ diameter x 4.25″ high) to accommodate food for 3-4 people. Thanks to the auto-timer feature the machine will automatically shut down once your food is ready. You can also double check its status by led indicators for heating and power. The fryer’s temperature setting ranges from 180 to 400°F (82.2 to 204° C). According to the users, the basket chamber can hold about 9 chicken wings. Accessories like BBQ rack and skewer are included. Secure air fryer runs at 1500W/120V, which are electrical standards for North America. The manufacturer offers 2-year warranty.

The dimensions are 13 x 11 x 12 inches and the empty weight is 12.25 pounds.

Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Intuitive and easy to use
  • 4-Qt is good enough for 3-4 people
  • Included accessories for BBQ
  • Easy clean-up
  • Great customer service by Secura
Cons
  • Lowest possible temperature is 180°F, which is a bit higher compared to other models
  • Timer and temperature numbers are hard to read (they are very small)

Our rating: 4.5 / 5


5) Dash Compact Air Fryer 1.2 L

This particular air fryer is manufactured by DASH and has this retro feeling in regard to design and color.

Dash Compact Air Fryer 1.2 L

This is one of the best small air fryers on the market, but it also has a very small basket space, only 1.6 qt capacity which is barely enough to accommodate 1 lb of French fries. Besides standard timer feature it also has automatic shutdown setting to prevent overcooking. It works on 1000W and also features cookbook with 15 recipes. You can also choose from five colors, Aqua (light teal), white, black, grey and red.

DASH’s dimensions are 10.2 x 8.1 x 11.4 inches and the weight is 5.7 pounds, making it very small and compact and a must-have for a small retro kitchen.

Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Cool retro design
  • Great for one, max two people
  • Evenly fried and tasty food result
Cons
  • 1.6 qt capacity is not enough for a family
  • Considering the 1000W, you will probably be using temperatures 375°F + most of the time

Our rating: 4.4 Star Rating 4.4 / 5


Conclusion

There goes our list on the best small air fryers. We have included only five small air fryers, since most of the other competitors have very similar (in some cases practically identical) functions and design, therefore, I don’t think it was necessary to list them as well.

The smallest air fryer on this list is Gourmia GAF228 and very close behind it is Dash Compact. But these two also have smaller baskets, so it is up to you if you would prefer larger basket and sacrificing bit of space. Hopefully, you have just found your winner.